Manchester United vs. Swansea City: Winners and Losers from Old Trafford

Joe Tansey@JTansey90Featured ColumnistAugust 16, 2014

Manchester United vs. Swansea City: Winners and Losers from Old Trafford

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    For the first time since 1972, Manchester United lost a league opener at Old Trafford in their 2-1 defeat to Swansea City. 

    The loss was the first of the Louis van Gaal era—the Red Devils having won all of their preseason matches under the Dutch manager. 

    The visiting Swans earned their first league win at Old Trafford thanks to some bright performances from the likes of Gylfi Sigurdsson and Ashley Williams. 

    Continue reading on for a complete list of the biggest winners and losers from the opening match of the season at Old Trafford. 

Winner: Gylfi Sigurdsson

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    In his return to the Swansea side after a few years at Tottenham, Gylfi Sigurdsson knocked home the game-winning goal at Old Trafford. 

    Sigurdsson handed the Swans the lead in the 72nd minute after finding space in the center of the box. 

    For his team's first goal, the Icelandic midfielder provided Ki Sung-yueng with an assist to give the visitors the lead in the 28th minute. 

Loser: Jesse Lingard

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    Jesse Lingard was one of two United players to be handed their Premier League debuts on Saturday, but the 21-year-old lasted just 24 minutes. 

    Lingard was removed from the match after his right leg was left hanging out after he went in for a challenge with Ashley Williams. 

    The injury to the youngster added yet another name to the growing injury list that Van Gaal has to deal with at the moment. 

Winner: Adnan Januzaj

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    The man who replaced Lingard in the 24th minute was Adnan Januzaj, who was one of the brighter players on the pitch for the Red Devils.

    Januzaj provided a constant threat on the wing, but he could not create a second equalizer for a United side that shut down a bit after the second Swansea goal. 

    Regardless of the result, the Belgian international delivered a strong performance, which should hand him a start against Sunderland. 

Loser: Neil Taylor

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    Neil Taylor had a hard time catching up with Adnan Januzaj throughout the 29 minutes that the pair dueled on the right wing. 

    Taylor was eventually taken out of the game in the 53rd minute in favor of Dwight Tiendalli because of the yellow card he picked up five minutes earlier. 

    The lack of contribution to the defensive effort is shown further by the 25-year-old's stat line, as he made just two tackles and one interception. 

Winner: Ki Sung-yueng

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    After spending last season on loan at Sunderland, Ki Sung-yueng made his presence known on the first day of the 2014-15 campaign for Swansea. 

    The first scorer of the new Premier League season struck in the 28th minute for his first goal in 42 appearances for the Swans, per ESPN's Paul Carr. 

Loser: Javier Hernandez

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    In case you were wondering, Javier Hernandez was actually on the pitch for 45 minutes, though you shouldn't be faulted if you failed to recognize him. 

    The Mexican forward made just 14 touches before exiting the match for Nani. 

    Not only did he hurt his stock at United with his poor performance, but he also hurt his potential transfer stock as well. 

Winner: Ashley Williams

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    Ashley Williams was a commanding force in the Swansea back line, as he was able to disrupt United on numerous set pieces. 

    The center-back made a game-high 15 effective clearances to go along with three tackles and two interceptions. 

    If Williams can play like this for most of the season, Swansea will be a contender for a spot in the top half of the table. 

Winner: Wayne Rooney

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    In his new role as captain, Wayne Rooney delivered an equalizer and almost put the Red Devils ahead with a free-kick. 

    Rooney used some acrobatics in front of goal to score off a corner in the 53rd minute before his free-kick struck the top-right post 13 minutes later. 

    Despite barely missing on his second chance, Rooney was productive up front for a United side that needed someone to step up and create chances in the second half. 

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